What is an urban-serving university?

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An urban-serving university is more than just a university located in an urban area. According to the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, of which UW Tacoma is a member, to be urban- serving means to be, and to be seen as, an anchor institution “whose physical presence is integral to the social, cultural, and economic wellbeing of the community”  in which the university is located.

Four elements inform the work of an urban-serving university:

  1. Student access and success: A focus on expanding access to higher education within the community, and support programs that maximize student success;
  2. Use-inspired research: Scholarship that is guided by the potential use of its results, and strives to respond to problems or needs of the community;
  3. Meaningful community partnerships: Connecting community organizations and businesses to the wealth of the university’s talent, expertise, technology and resources;
  4. Economic development: Leveraging the university’s assets as a catalyst for growth in the community.